May 28, 2009

I'm heading Down Under soon

I'll be teaching in New Zealand and Australia late this summer. I've taught at events in both countries almost annually for many years and am looking forward to seeing old friends and teaching new quilters.

Here are some photos from one of my recent trips to New Zealand. I love the flora and fauna, and we made some fun quilts in class.

New Zealand is home to a living fossil called a "tuatara." It's a lizard-like creature with some unique characteristics whose descendants go back 200,000 years. You can learn more about them on Wikipedia.

May 18, 2009

Nancy's Notions Warehouse Sale

Around the beginning of May, I was in Beaver Dam, WI, for presentations at Nancy's Notions. The groups are large (50-200 people), so the room is equipped with a camera and several monitors to make it easier to include how-to demo's and visuals. The best part was my camera operator and even hostess was Donna Frenske. Donna has been part of the creative and production team for Nancy Zieman's "Sewing with Nancy" TV show for 25 years, and she made it very easy for me.

Jinny Beyer was another one of the speakers. We are long-time friends. I was a speaker at her third or fourth Hilton Head seminar. Jinny and Carol Porter and I had dinner one night - what fun! If you've heard a rumor that Jinny is retiring, don't believe it! It seems people got confused because she just held her 29th and final seminar a few weeks ago. Jinny was proofing some pages of an unbelievable book project she's been working on for several years and I got to see a few pages. It's beautiful, and amazing!

Carol and I became friends about 10 years ago and we bonded instantly, but as long-distance friendships are, we never get to see each other often enough! Many quilters connect Carol with her company Heatherworks and her best-selling colorwash quilt designs. Carol, however, is multi-talented in many needlework areas and she has been snagged by Clover to develop project design and educational materials.

Here I am with Carol on the left and Nancy Zieman and Mary Mulari on the right. Mary is very talented. those of you who watch Nancy's shows will know she is a frequent and popular guest.

As a bonus, I got to have lunch with my sister Mary, her husband Dave, and their son and daughter-in-law, Mark and Dawn Fuchs, who all live in Mequon, WI. There will be plenty more "family reunion-ing" when Richard, Stacy and I return to Wisconsin in a few weeks. Stacy and I are both teaching at Quilts & Fiber Arts University on May 29 and 30, quilts that we have made are being displayed in the Wisconsin Museum of Quilts & Fiber Arts now through July 19, 2009.

I really like this photo of Stacy and me from the museum brochure. Stacy looks great in pink! The quilt is called "Magic Steps" and is from my book, Log Cabin ABCs.

Michell Family Day

My best Mother's Day present came a few Sundays early. It just happened that all the Michells (Stacy, Richard and I) were going to be in town the same Sunday that our son, Jeff, would also be in town. Jeff lives with his wife and boys in Seattle and would be passing through Atlanta on his way to a bridge tournament in Pigeon Forge, TN.

Neither Stacy nor Jeff had been to the Georgia Aquarium yet. Richard and I had been twice with out of town guests, but we still wanted to do the behind-the-scenes tour and everyone was up for it. We had a ball! And it was a real treat to be just Mom and Dad and the two kids for a few hours. It had been years since we'd done that.

The Aquarium is beautiful, and we couldn't have had a better time. Our tour party consisted of our guide, Tyrone, the four Michells, and a very nice couple from San Jose, CA. We couldn't tell if they were naturally quiet or just overwhelmed by us! We asked a lot of questions and learned a lot about how the fish are fed, how the tanks are cleaned, how the heaters work, etc.

Our aquarium is the world's largest, with over 8 million gallons of water. It houses 500 species, some of which you won't see anywhere else in America, in 60 habitats. It has over 12,000 square feet of viewing glass.

Here I am with a friendly grouper:

The Aquarium is home to many whale sharks. They're called whale sharks because they can be as big as some whales, but they don't have bone skeletons like whales do and are a true shark. Ours are just kids. This little guy could be as big as a school bus one day.

If you ever get to Atlanta, put the Georgia Aquarium on your list of things to do. And take the kids if you can!